2014 Environmental Hero Award


We are excited to announce that this year’s Environmental Hero Award goes to Supervisor Salud Carbajal of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, for his extended efforts to protect the environment at both the local and Federal levels.

Over the years, Supervisor Carbajal has demonstrated his strong commitment to protecting our natural environment and resources. He initiated the County effort to adopt a Climate Action Plan to reduce the County’s greenhouse gas emissions. He has worked to reduce the County’s use of pesticides through its Integrated Pest Management program. He was also involved in the establishment of emPowerSBC, a program designed to help County residents with energy savings in their homes. In addition to his service as County Supervisor, Mr. Carbajal acts on several boards, as well as serves on President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, a group of leaders in sustainability who advise the Administration on how to respond to communities in need from impacts of climate change.


Past recipients:

2013 Bill Nye, science educator and TV host
2013 Van Jones, green jobs activist
2012 Selma Rubin, local activist
2011 Darryl Hannah, actress
2010 James Cameron, film director
2009 Elon Musk, founding CEO of Tesla Motors

Learn more about the award >

Past Heroes:

2013 Environmental Hero Award

Van Jones

Van Jones is president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy. A Yale-educated attorney, Van has written two New York Times Best Sellers: The Green Collar Economy, the definitive book on green jobs, and Rebuild the Dream, a roadmap for progressives in 2012 and beyond.

Jones is the founder of Green for All, a national organization working to get green jobs to disadvantaged communities. He was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act; signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007, the Act was the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term “green jobs.” Under the Obama administration, it has resulted in $500 million for green job training nationally.

While best known as a pioneer in the environmental movement, Van has been hard at work in social justice for nearly two decades, fashioning solutions to some of urban America’s toughest problems. He is the co-founder of two social justice organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change.

Among many awards and recognitions, Jones was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2009; was the recipient of the NAACP’s Image Award; and was named Rolling Stones’ 12 Leaders who Get things Done in 2012. Jones is currently on the board of the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC).

Bill Nye

Bill Nye’s latest project is hosting a show on Planet Green called Stuff Happens, which is about environmentally responsible choices that consumers can make as they go about their day and their shopping. Also, you’ll see Nye in his good-natured rivalry with his neighbor Ed Begley Jr. They compete to see who can save the most energy and produce the smallest carbon footprint. Nye has 4,000 watts of solar power and a solar-boosted hot water system.

Ed Begley Jr., actor, environmentalist and friend of Nye told Earth Day producers, “I would not be able to do the work that I do without good science to back it up. My greatest source of that is my friend and neighbor Bill Nye. He has an uncanny ability to present the facts, in a way that is entertaining, and easy to understand, and we are all better for knowing him.”

Nye is the host of two other currently-running television series. The 100 Greatest Discoveries which airs on the Science Channel and The Eyes of Nye which airs on PBS stations across the country. Nye is a national spokesperson often seen and heard in the national media speaking out on behalf of the overwhelming scientific proof of manmade climate change.


2012 Environmental Hero Award

Last year’s Environmental Hero Award was given posthumously to Selma Rubin.  Selma was a true community hero in Santa Barbara, helping found more than 42 grass roots organizations, the Community Environmental Council among them.

Selma’s motto was ‘stay active’ and she embodied that by serving on several local boards well into her 90’s.  She was an inspiration, a powerful force, and a dear friend.  She will be greatly missed but her legacy will live on.

2011 Environmental Hero Award

Daryl Hannah has been passionate and committed to practicing a low impact lifestyle for over 20 years. From her small footprint, passive and active solar home complete with gray water systems and organic garden, to being an early adaptor of biofuels, Hannah has been actively spreading the good news of how well it all works and how good it all feels.

Her many international speaking engagements include keynote speeches on the environment at a United Nations Global Business conference, the National Biodiesel Board Conference, Natural and Organic Products Expo, LOHAS (Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability) 9 Conference and Film Festival and many others.

She designed and films her website, www.dhlovelife.com, which is dedicated to sharing solutions on living more harmoniously with the planet and all other living things. The site features weekly five-minute inspirational video blogs, daily news updates, alerts access to goods and services and more.

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